I used to be Type A. Before the age of ten, I had a sophisticated filing system for personal receipts. I filled my journals with inventories of different places in the home--how many tennis rackets in the hall closet, how many CDs in my case, how many bottles of nail polish on my sister's bathroom counter. I ironed my clothes before packing them in a suitcase to go on vacation. I used hair spray to slick down stray hairs in my ponytail. I always measured twice before cutting. I was always in control. Of. Everything.
No, really. In third grade, it was brought to my attention that I didn't know how to type, so what did I do but request a typewriter for my eighth birthday--a typewriter, I insisted, because it seemed intellectual, and being intellectual is everything to Type A. My biggest birthday wish was granted, and I taught myself to type on that dusty, clunky thing.
I felt so in control of myself. If I wanted to improve my grades, I did. If I wanted to pick up singing, I did. If I wanted to graduate high school early, I did. Nothing was impossible...
Well, there were some things, like that time when I could not run a sub-9 minute mile in middle school. It's not even that fast, I know I know I KNOW, and I could not understand for the life of me what the deal was. After my final class of the day, I'd go home and run around the neighborhood until dinnertime. I went to the library and researched running drills. But alas, I could not pass 9 minutes. That killed me, not because I wanted to be a fast runner, but because there was something that was seemingly impossible for me to accomplish, and the thought that I was limited NO MATTER WHAT scared me to tears at the end of each Wednesday when all us students ran around that stupid field in those stupid purple uniforms.
Some time between then and now, I lost my Type A personality. I traded it in for Type X, Y, Z, I don't even know. Let's just say that I do not file my receipts because I typically forget them at the cash register--with my wallet, phone, and purchased item. I don't know how many CDs are in my case because not only are CDs ancient (ha), but I'd be lucky if I was organized enough to keep them all in one central case. I am the frazzled mess that drives the wrong way on one-way streets and doesn't realize it until the ginormous semi barreling towards me lays its horn and shrieks to a halt. The concentration and focus, the assurance I once had about myself has faltered into obnoxious insecurity and paranoia (I claim to be fighting it).
So let's talk about why yesterday I was able to run a mile in fewer than 9 minutes, because while you'd think this event would fill me with delight and a great sense of accomplishment, it only frustrates me to think that I was able to accomplish what I so desperately wanted a decade ago with no effort compared to what I gave back then--and let's not forget that I am probably, like, 30 pounds heavier and I eat cookies for breakfast and maybe perhaps kind of sort of probably totally definitely for lunch and dinner and second dinner.
Why is that?
Why is it that I can look at my old schoolwork, and even though I have not taken a geometry class since high school, my old tests look so much easier now than they did then, even though I invested in tutors and late night study sessions in trying to understand all that junk? (...and that is why I graduated in English.)
What changes? What it all boils down to (and here comes the over analytical, symbolic world view), IS THERE NO RHYME OR REASON TO NAVIGATING THIS UNIVERSE?